Making a living… doing what I love.

{I will be handing out a few of these prints to a few random peeps at Blogher 2011! Minus the copyright. ;D}

Never in a million years would I have thought that I would be able to make any sort of real money through blogging or by selling my creations in my Etsy shop. BUT! I’m on my way. Ok… I’m only able to help pay for a teeny teeny tiny bit of our expenses today… but, it does help! And, the best part: I love this job!

I’ve always had this need to be creative (run’s in my family) and here I am… drawing, writing, photographing everything, watching/taking care of Ruari… that’s my job! I LOVE it. I know I’m so lucky to be able to stay home with Ruari… and, then to be able to do something with those lonely naptime hours: it’s awesome.
So… why am I rambling on about being so happy and blah blah artsy fartsy? Well… I guess I got pretty excited when I stumbled across this article I found in Studio’s magazine: “How to Make Etsy Work for You” (see image below). It seems like you should be able to just throw your creations up on Etsy and everyone in the world will scramble to buy up every last thing you make. Well… if you’re on Etsy (or any other handmade/vintage selling site)… you know it definitely does not work that way. Everything this article talks about is sort of a no-brainer… but, it’s all things that my brain never really started thinking about until recently: You have to blog about your creations… tweet about them… give some away here and there… advertise… hand out business cards… offer discounts… and so much more. How will anyone know you even have a business if you don’t talk about it?

In the first two years I had my paper crowns shop open I had only sold about 60 items (talk about a downer). What was I doing wrong: I wasn’t telling anyone about my shop. Maybe every once in a while I would blog about a new crown… but, my old Paper Lady blog was very neglected and I never kept it up to date. Who wants to read a blog that never updates? 🙂 
I started the Paper Mama Blog in April 2010 and I found the wonderful world of mom-blogging, photography-blogging… everything blogging and things just started falling into place. I’m just doing what I love to do. Being myself is so important (but, can be a struggle with blogging sometimes: how far into my life/world do I want to go and share on my blog?). I used to worry about how I’m not a writer and am terrible with grammar… etc. Hee, I don’t worry about that anymore! The way you read my typing is pretty much how I talk in real life (well… I think I may be a bit more scatter-brained in real life… I can go back and edit these words. :}).

So, what’s my business? It’s this. My blog. My drawings. My photoshopping. That’s what I do. And… now, how do I grow? I don’t know. I’m just guessing at everything I do. Trial and error. It takes a lot of time and effort and reading/research to get a business started. A LOT (just ask my hubby who thinks I work too hard as a stay-at-home-mom. :D). Whenever Ruari is sleeping I’m either working on orders… or, blogging. I spend a TON of time on it. I am getting faster… sorta. And, more efficient… slowly.

The Studio’s magazine article above interviewed fellow Etsian: Timothy Adam. I’m guessing a few of you Etsy shop owners have heard of him. He has a great story (read it here). He has a very successful metal creations shop on Etsy and has a TON of advice and tips for us small business peeps. The funny thing is I actually used to read his blog in 2008 when I was the Paper Lady (RIP Paper Lady blog ;D). I was pleasantly surprised to see how well he’s doing for himself 3 years later!

Mr. Timothy’s blog has a wealth of info for you to wander through if you are looking for ways to get your shop out and about. Along with a book he just wrote: How to Make Money using Etsy. He can also be found on the Handmadeology blog. Another great resource to help you grow your biz.

So, I hope you enjoyed my random ramblings about my business dreams and do expect new and wonderful things from my shop and blog! Because, I’m constantly working hard to make it more and more lovely!

Chelsey

Categories: paper mama shop


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